On Friday 20 October we hosted Africa Sports Unified for their Connex Summit, which was a hugely enjoyable event with a number of fascinating panel discussions – the focus of which was about driving growth and innovation with Pan-African sports industry leaders.

Topics included:

  • FIFA Forward 3.0 and how it benefits and maximises growth for member associations;
  • Two perspectives on Sports Law;
  • African Sports Investment and whether this is a viable path; and
  • Sports as a catalyst for economic growth – specifically looking into Rwanda's future

As the Head of our Africa team, I was delighted to welcome guests before the keynote opening from Fatma Samoura - Secretary-General at FIFA.

The Two Perspectives on Sports Law session was hosted by Serge Vittoz, Counsel in our Geneva office and Nick White, Partner in our London office.  

Serge spoke about arbitration in sport, including international federations and how they tend to be concentrated in one place, having recently given Nick a tour of numerous headquarters in Lausanne.  He touched on how our unique location in the heart of international sport in Geneva affects our practice and he also regaled the audience with some of his best (and worst) memories of his victories and defeats!

Nick shared some background information about crypto in sports and talked about how many people are sceptical about it, namely whether it does anything that can’t be done more easily without using a blockchain and also spoke about the future of the market. His view is that crypto is here to stay and will gain further traction as the current ‘Crypto Winter’ thaws.

Thank you to Gabriel Ajala, Founder of Africa Sports Unified and also to all of the speakers: Fatma Samoura, Secretary-General, FIFA; Solomon Mudege, Head of Development Programmes Africa; Catherine Orset, Head of Growth, Alive & Kicking; Gary Rathbone, Founder, Sportscape Media; Khaled El-Ahmad, CEO Barnsley F.C.; Emmanuel Ruhumuliza, Partnerships Manager, VisitRwanda; and Deji Akande - Founder, Gateway Sports Group.